When do contentious politics arise around forest certification? In Russia, forestry firms have adopted Forest Stewardship Council certification more rapidly and with fewer challenges in Northwestern regions than in the Russian Far East. In 2011–2012, contentious politics broke out in response to a revision of Russia's national FSC standards. This case allows us to build upon and extend arguments about how domestic conditions shape actors' responses to private environmental governance. Regional variation in Russia suggests that collective mobilization to weaken certification is more likely to emerge under conditions of high levels of biodiversity, proximity to markets that are not sensitive to certification, and low penetration by multinational firms. However, the key factor facilitating collective action in this case was the emergence of an industry-government alliance that was rooted in prior industry-government collusion on the illegal logging, mutual investments in wood, and a lack of knowledge about FSC certification. Contentious politics gave way to constructive negotiations between stakeholders in 2013–2017 following the construction of several forums of negotiation.
- Forest stewardship council
- Contentious politics